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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 60378
Last updated: 6 May 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic F15 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas F-15B Eagle
Owner/operator:433rd FWS, 57th FWW, USAF (433rd Fighter WingS, 57th Fighter WingW, United States Air Force)
Registration: 75-0085
C/n / msn: B-021
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Area 52, Tonopah Ranges, near Nellis AFB, Nevada -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nevada (LSV/KLSV)
Destination airport:Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nevada (LSV/KLSV)
Crashed December 6, 1977 in Area 52, Tonopah Test Ranges, near Nellis AFB, Nevada, During an ACT mission. Both crew - Lt. Col. David 'Jake' Jacobson (Commander of 433rd FWS) and Col. William Hilton Walter III, M.D (commander of the Hospital at Nellis AFB)- were killed. Per eyewitness report:

"This is regarding the aircraft listed 75-0085 (very lovingly known as 'Balls 85') from Nellis AFB Nevada. I was the Asst. C/C on that aircraft at the time of the crash. At the time of the crash the 2 seaters were known as TF-15A's. It was decades ago but I still remember getting called out of the hanger by OSI immediately after the crash. I had launched and recovered Colonel "Jake" Jacobsen many times and he was a great guy and a fine pilot. He was one of the few pilots that treated ground crew with respect and a smile.

The cause of the crash was never exactly determined. but afaik it was assumed that the Hospital Commander pulled back on the stick too fast and too hard effectively snowplowing into the side of a mountain on the Tonopah range. Both pilots ejected but hit the mountain before the chutes deployed. I was not allowed to be a part of the recovery but was told that there were three impacts, 1 plane and 2 seats packs.

I mean no disrespect to the Hospital Commander in anyway but it was believed to be his fault. I do not remember him as a person but I am sure he was a fine man. Because of this crash the Air Force made a policy that never would two Commanders be on the same plane at the same time. I do not know if this rule still applies.")


1. Davies, Steve; Dildy, Doug (2007). F-15 Eagle Engaged—The World's Most Successful Jet Fighter. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-169-4 p. 240

Related books:

Revision history:

01-Apr-2012 09:44 Dr. John Smith Updated
01-Apr-2012 10:29 Dr. John Smith Updated
02-Apr-2012 14:52 Dr. John Smith Updated
11-Jul-2016 23:54 Dr.John Smith Updated
11-Jul-2016 23:56 Dr.John Smith Updated
12-Jul-2016 00:01 Dr.John Smith Updated

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